Yesterday, February 5, 2014, the OC cycling community demonstrated its solidarity by showing up at 6:30 A.M. on a weekday to pay tribute to a fallen cyclist. Twenty-one year old Joseph Robinson was killed by an intoxicated 18 year old on a rural Orange County road on super bowl Sunday at 7 A.M. Senseless and tragic, on so many levels. It’s shocking to the soul and senses. And yet, such things can galvanize the collective community. At least I hope this does.
I can’t speak to my knowledge of Joseph – I said hello to him and shared small talk with him perhaps twice – but I can speak to the experience shared by myself and 300+ others on his memorial ride yesterday. I first must thank the people responsible for organizing this memorial ride and ghost bike, namely Joseph’s employer, Jax Bicycle Center and Dave Hanson the owner. To put such an effort together in three days is incredible. It’s an honor for our team to be supported by Jax Bicycle Center. (BTW – a memorial fund has been setup through PayPal on the Jax Bicycle website.) The CHP and police support was quite impressive as they had teams of motorcycles shutting down intersections as our ride progressed up to the site of the ghost bike.
And for the cycling community – riders, teams, shops, sponsors, etc. – to rally behind the ride to bring awareness and respect to what transpired over the weekend was marvelous to be a part of. There was much consoling and shaking of heads and acknowledgement that it could be any one of us at any given time. It’s scary sometimes when on the road with metal missiles flying past you as bike and car share a patch of asphalt. Occasionally, there are serene patches of empty rural roads, which we as cyclists, are drawn to and yearn for – and even on these serene roads tranquility can be lost, forever.
While it doesn’t bring Joseph back to life, hopefully out of this tragedy some awareness is fostered and motorists – cyclists and cars alike – can learn to share the road better. #3feet please.
During the ride, in my mind I was singing the song “Pull Us All Together” by The Mother Hips (click the link and cycle back here to view the photos while the song plays), which starts off with this line: “One good thing that bad things do: Pull us All Together. A shoulder blade to cry on to: Pull us All Together….”
Below are some photos of the memorial ride and a video during the ride: